Savings: ‘Disastrous news for savers’ as easy access account closes to new UK customers

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MARCUS by Goldman Sachs closed its easy access savings account to new customers yesterday, following an influx of deposits. Amid the news, the bank has commented on “competitive rates”. What has a finance expert said of the changes?

The Marcus online easy access savings account is operated by the investment banking giant Goldman Sachs. However, the account has temporarily closed to new UK customers, with the temporary move taking effect on Wednesday June 10.

The variable savings account has been offering 1.05 percent on savings between £1 and £250,000, with interest calculated daily and paid monthly.

Since its launch back in September 2018, the account has seen more than 500,000 customer open an account so far, the bank said.

In total, more than £21billion has been deposited.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs said on Tuesday that the decision to pause new applications has been made in order to manage deposits in line with its business plan.

The bank added that it means they can “continue providing competitive rates” to existing Online Savings Account customers.

While new UK customers will not be able to open an online easy access savings account with Marcus by Goldman Sachs at this time, existing customers are unaffected by this change.

They will still be able to manage their accounts and contact the bank as normal.

Depending on market conditions, Marcus by Goldman Sachs hopes to reopen the Online Savings Account in the coming months, adding that they remain committed to customers and the UK market.

Rachel Springall, Finance Expert at Moneyfacts, commented on the news.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, she said: “This is disastrous news for savers who are looking for a new account as the returns on offer on many easy access accounts for new customers continue to plummet.

“The average easy access rate on the market has dropped to a record low of 0.30 percent and may well fall further in the weeks to come.

“As we have seen before with other providers, they can limit the flow of money into a business either by withdrawing their product from sale or changing its eligibility criteria.

“This is typically as a last resort as usually a provider would cut its interest rate to look less attractive.

“Existing savers who have an account would be wise to keep a close eye on their rate and account terms and conditions.

“Just because they have a competitive return now does not mean they will continue to do so in the months to come.”

Meanwhile, the 1-Year Fixed Rate Saver continues to be open to new and existing customers.

The bank launched this new online one-year fixed savings account back in March this year, however the interest rates first offered on the account have since been reduced.

Originally offering 1.45 percent, the interest rate now stands at 1.00 percent AER/gross, fixed for one year.

The minimum savings in this account is £1, with the maximum limit being £250,000.

Managing Director of Marcus by Goldman Sachs, Des McDaid, said: “We are temporarily not accepting new applications for our Marcus online savings account in order to manage our rate of deposit growth.

“This step will allow us to continue providing great value to our existing customers.

“We remain committed to expanding our UK retail business in future.”

Last month, Rachel Springall, Finance Expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk, said: “If savers are planning to open an easy access account, then they would be wise to consider the more unfamiliar challenger banks and look away from the high street banks to find the best returns.

“Savers who keep their cash in a high street bank easy access account could be earning next to nothing, for example NatWest pays just 0.01 percent.

“In terms of the best deals, NS&I may be paying the top easy access rate today, but there is no guarantee this will stay in the pole position in the future.

“The savings market is changing quickly, so if consumers are hoping to grab the best possible return on their cash, they will need to act fast.

“It is worth pointing out that easy access accounts pay a variable rate of interest and this can change at any moment.”

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